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pottyprof

Censoring The Internet

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Okay, we've known for a while that there would be a big clamp down on copyright infringement but does this open the floodgates to boot other sites off the internet?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-segal/stop-the-internet-blackli_b_739836.html

I think this is potentially a huge step backwards..

Over to PP for the conspiracy behind it...................... :o

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Well some sites deserved to be booted off the net. Child porn and Extremist websites for one. No doubt it when TV starts being streamed over the internet censorship can be applied to that as well.

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The one thing that all authorities/administrations/governments hate about the internet is that they have no control over it, and no control over what people put on it, or say on it. And to compound this the lack of control means that they can't control how money is made or lost on the internet, or how money flows across boundaries. In other words, it's the worst nightmare for all those otherwise all-powerful 'global leaders', so anything they can do to wrestle back control, to 'manage the internet in the best way for everyone' (!!!) as I'm sure they'll sell it, they will try and do. So it's up to everyone else to do everything and anything they can to ensure that this DOES NOT HAPPEN - the internet has put a great deal of power back into the hands of Everyman, and we should all guard that new-found power jealously.

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I agree. One big risk is that, as society becomes increasingly reliant on the Internet, if authorities take a large degree of control over the Internet, they will be able to gain a whole new level of control over our lives that wasn't possible in the past because they didn't have the technology for it.

The whole copyright situation worries me a lot these days. I don't deny that en-masse copying of whole copyrighted works, especially for profit, creates a significant risk of adversely affecting industry sales, and that the internet is heavily abused for that purpose. But to me, a much greater threat is using the "we want to stop piracy" line to curb long-standing freedoms and gain increasing control over the population. Remember, under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, anything that circumvents copy protection, or Digital Rights Management systems, is technically copyright infringement. The scope for abuse of this is enormous, and as I've lamented before, the PC gaming industry is providing stark examples of this at the moment.

Many of our everyday appliances have a good chance of becoming more internet-based in the future so there is a real risk of DRM and overall censorship acquiring a far wider scope, and many other things (such as TV, radio etc) going the same way as PC gaming has done recently. Companies and authorities alike can only do as much as they can get away with without receiving a massive backlash, so the trend is likely to be slow, but if the authorities can successfully brainwash the masses into accepting that copying is the same as theft, and that en-masse control over the population and censorship of the internet is necessary to prevent this "theft", then we can expect a rise in the rate at which this happens. Unless, that is, we create enough of a backlash to show that we see what is happening and won't tolerate it.

I don't think it's a conspiracy- just self-seeking authorities and powerful companies trying to acquire more control and charge more for less, and getting caught up in the prevailing propaganda, all of which is resulting in measures that point in the above direction.

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Are we not missing the point here a little bit, who would you rather trust - governments or criminals?

If there's no control over the net then criminality will continue to grow, from fraud, to child porn, to extremism etc etc. Unfortunately all the while there are a minority people out there who will seek to use freedom to exploit others and the law, then the only option is to have controls in place which can stop them.

So while you may not entirely trust the governments of the world, personally I'd rather give them some control than the alternative option of watching the net turn more and more into the wild west where unscrupulous people can get away with murder.

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Well some sites deserved to be booted off the net. Child porn and Extremist websites for one. No doubt it when TV starts being streamed over the internet censorship can be applied to that as well.

I agree that there would be some bonuses to be had with the intended control but why should one country be able to restrict what can and what can't be done/said in another country? I should think the American people will object strongly to the plans.

As for streaming TV, there are already systems in place to cut streams for commercials. If you're outside a certain area, you lose the feed.

Are we not missing the point here a little bit, who would you rather trust - governments or criminals?

Well going by own government's standards over recent years, is there any difference??

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Are we not missing the point here a little bit, who would you rather trust - governments or criminals?

If there's no control over the net then criminality will continue to grow, from fraud, to child porn, to extremism etc etc. Unfortunately all the while there are a minority people out there who will seek to use freedom to exploit others and the law, then the only option is to have controls in place which can stop them.

So while you may not entirely trust the governments of the world, personally I'd rather give them some control than the alternative option of watching the net turn more and more into the wild west where unscrupulous people can get away with murder.

I think the problem here isn't the control, but rather the extent of the control, and whether it is focused on targetting the right people. In an ideal world, we'd have controls in place that would stop most of the offenders, while preserving most of the liberties of the responsible general public, and thus a good balance would be struck.

But in today's world, it is widely accepted that it's necessary to punish lots of innocent people in order to stop people misbehaving, and that en-masse losses to liberties are a small price to pay for small improvements in security, so we don't often see that kind of balance reached. Those policies are the norm in the copyright debate these days, and if authorities and copyright holders alike are given too much power they will tend to abuse it, for reasons including those that I gave in my previous post. What happens is that rules are tightened, "criminality" grows due to the criminalization of acts that used to be legal, enforcement is directed at the general public at the expense of resources for policing the instigators of the original problem, and so they devise circumvention tools and go underground. Again, the PC gaming industry is a classic example of where this has already happened.

There is a real risk of this kind of censorship policy achieving that "worst of both worlds" scenario where ironically we have an internet controlled both by the government and criminals, the former via "official" communities and the latter via underground communities.

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Are we not missing the point here a little bit, who would you rather trust - governments or criminals?

I'll think about that a bit. No difference so neither of them although some "criminals" are useful for the likes of hacking systems like osx on a normal pc. Apple don't like it but it goes on.

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The internet should never be regulated, it may have it's good and bad points, but it is the only time in human history that we have been able, as a race, to think as one organism.

We must never let them censor the internet no matter how bad things are that may appear on it as they are just a reflection of the human soul in all it's incarnations.

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The one thing that all authorities/administrations/governments hate about the internet is that they have no control over it, and no control over what people put on it, or say on it. And to compound this the lack of control means that they can't control how money is made or lost on the internet, or how money flows across boundaries. In other words, it's the worst nightmare for all those otherwise all-powerful 'global leaders', so anything they can do to wrestle back control, to 'manage the internet in the best way for everyone' (!!!) as I'm sure they'll sell it, they will try and do. So it's up to everyone else to do everything and anything they can to ensure that this DOES NOT HAPPEN - the internet has put a great deal of power back into the hands of Everyman, and we should all guard that new-found power jealously.

Well said.

Are we not missing the point here a little bit, who would you rather trust - governments or criminals?

If there's no control over the net then criminality will continue to grow, from fraud, to child porn, to extremism etc etc. Unfortunately all the while there are a minority people out there who will seek to use freedom to exploit others and the law, then the only option is to have controls in place which can stop them.

So while you may not entirely trust the governments of the world, personally I'd rather give them some control than the alternative option of watching the net turn more and more into the wild west where unscrupulous people can get away with murder.

You miss the point.

Overall, governments are the BIGGEST criminals on this planet.

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You miss the point.

Overall, governments are the BIGGEST criminals on this planet.

For once i actually agree with Mr.PP

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The problem I have with this approach is the fact that when anyone comes down on anything on the internet, they manage to push things underground. There are loads of file sharing sites that are "private" that sprang into life after the episodes with Lokitorrent. The use of the news groups is becoming a much more secure way than through torrents and from what I understand, nobody has come up with a way of throttling back the bandwidth or decoding the encryption that can be used. Why kill off things when you can keep an eye on things better the way things are?

I'm sure most major criminals will have found a way of using a vps somewhere with secure encryption without needing to use the Domain Name System.

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In the 1980s and 1990s "casual copying" was rampant (this goes for all entertainment industries, e.g. taping TV & radio entertainment for archival, passing copies onto friends etc), while hardcore pirates were not "mainstream". The current "en-masse underground file sharing" related problems, at least in part, result from the drive over the last decade to stamp out "casual copying" using copy protection and DRM, resulting in it being driven underground and helping connect the hardcore pirates with the general public.

Clearly these measures are intended to address this underground en-masse file sharing problem. I would be more willing to support them if they showed compelling evidence of shifting position towards clamping down on the hardcore pirates and not the general public. Unless they change to that approach, we're not going to see significant inroads against the underground piracy problem unless we're prepared to give up most of our freedoms re. how we use the products we buy.

Personally I would like them to put more effort into rounding up the ringleaders of these underground sites, tackling the problem head-on.

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In the 1980s and 1990s "casual copying" was rampant (this goes for all entertainment industries, e.g. taping TV & radio entertainment for archival, passing copies onto friends etc), while hardcore pirates were not "mainstream". The current "en-masse underground file sharing" related problems, at least in part, result from the drive over the last decade to stamp out "casual copying" using copy protection and DRM, resulting in it being driven underground and helping connect the hardcore pirates with the general public.

Clearly these measures are intended to address this underground en-masse file sharing problem. I would be more willing to support them if they showed compelling evidence of shifting position towards clamping down on the hardcore pirates and not the general public. Unless they change to that approach, we're not going to see significant inroads against the underground piracy problem unless we're prepared to give up most of our freedoms re. how we use the products we buy.

Personally I would like them to put more effort into rounding up the ringleaders of these underground sites, tackling the problem head-on.

Ian, how many times have you heard of the police turning up on someone's doorstep because they have made a single copy of a game or cd for themselves? Never I would suspect!

So, with that in mind I'm lost as to what point you're trying to make?

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I think it does need controlled. But I don't profess to know how much...

However, some of the drivel, lies and innuendo that's posted on blogs does shout CENSORSHIP imo??

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Ian, how many times have you heard of the police turning up on someone's doorstep because they have made a single copy of a game or cd for themselves? Never I would suspect!

So, with that in mind I'm lost as to what point you're trying to make?

As a regular visitor to computer fairs it's plain to see who the hardcore pirates are. They can be seen loading up their car boots each week with boxes and boxes of hundreds of blank DVD discs and cases or buying multi-rack DVD burners. Censoring the internet wont stop this practise as it would only stop a few from access to the original source material and hacking software. Filesharing is easier for more people to jump on the bandwagon but hardcore pirates would just get a copy to replicate from a guy down the pub.

I personally "back-up" copies of DVD's/CD's using legal free software that "bypasses" encryption. I own the original DVD/CD so have not denied the artists etc. any loss of royalty income yet what I do is technically illegal. I "back-up" as a precaution against future damage or as a "spare" copy in the car (who buys 2 copies of a CD?... no-one). We all know the Tomorrows World senario of being able to spead discs with jam and still use them is utter tosh.

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And re. copyright infringement denying artists a fair return for their efforts, for many years the main culprits in terms of denying artists a fair return has been the giant global entertainment industry corporations themselves !!! So to start crying 'unfair' now and using that as an excuse is frankly disingenuous in the extreme. As an example, whenever I hear new music now the first thing I do is look to see if the artist has their own website where I can buy their stuff directly, and if not try and find a small independent distributor. Only as a last resort will I ever use the likes of iTunes, or buy CDs produced by the likes of EMI or Sony - why should I be giving more money to their shareholders than they give to their artists ??? With any luck what this is actually driving is returning the power and control of media to the actual artists and creators - which is of course the real reason why the industry giants and governments across the world are panicking - it doesn't fit their model for control of production and supply.............

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I clearly live in another world to the people taking part in this debate!!

Firstly, anyone who thinks governments are the biggest criminals in the world needs to get out more! There may be corruption in some governments, may be wrong decisions made but to suggest we effectively allow criminals to have more control on the net than governments is imo insanity.

Secondly - piracy, again no-one has ever been criminalised for making copies for themselves. So therefore the laws aren't in place to stop that sort of thing. They are in place to stop people stealing from programmers, writers, singers etc etc etc - using pirated items is effecitvely handling stolen goods, most people wouldn't take a dodgy tv off of a stranger in the pub, so why take a dodgy game/film/song off of a stranger on the net?

Thirdly - if record companies pay so poorly, why are successful singers so rich!!!?? And as you've said the internet has opened up doors for unsigned artists (authors, and software writers) to sell their wares direct, and they're being hit by piracy too...

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Thirdly - if record companies pay so poorly, why are successful singers so rich!!!?? And as you've said the internet has opened up doors for unsigned artists (authors, and software writers) to sell their wares direct, and they're being hit by piracy too...

There are many artists that have dropped their record companies because of the the way these companies have ripped them off. Most of these artists support the use of torrent as a distribution platform.

Because of the stupid way that copyright works, some TV company's cannot release their own programmes to DVD.. What a great system..

Anyway, this is moving away from the point of the proposed law.

The way it stands at the moment, even with the amendment, means that the USA will have the right to close down any site from the DNS that it wishes. Unless it tightens up the wording further, this will give the States free reign to do what it wishes. It's not just about piracy. The law will have other implications and will be open to abuse.

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I'm not saying that record companies are perfect beings, but i think some perspective is needed, stopping piracy benefits record companies but there's no doubt it also benefits artists.

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Artists make far more money touring than selling DVD's etc, which is why by and large the artists don't really care, the more people that like the music the more seats they sell at £20-40 each in a live show.

Censorship of the internet already takes place for over half the planet (i.e China, India, Middle east etc) of a far worst variety than is being considered in the west.

It already takes place though in the west with a host of sites being taken down I therefore don't really see what the big issue is....

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I'm not saying that record companies are perfect beings, but i think some perspective is needed, stopping piracy benefits record companies but there's no doubt it also benefits artists.

Totally agree. But when you find out that most record companies have leaked their own material onto the likes of gnutella to gain a fan base, you sort of scratch your head and wonder what they're playing at.

Artists make far more money touring than selling DVD's etc, which is why by and large the artists don't really care, the more people that like the music the more seats they sell at £20-40 each in a live show.

Exactly, which is another reason what makes you wonder what they're playing at. The single has been on its way out since the late 70s and the music industry have been having a hard time trying to remodel its business. I think it was the mid 90s when the singles were only just breaking even, so nothing to do with sharing sites on that score. I think they are onto a winner with the live shows and it gives the artist a chance to show the fans what they can do.

Censorship of the internet already takes place for over half the planet (i.e China, India, Middle east etc) of a far worst variety than is being considered in the west.

It already takes place though in the west with a host of sites being taken down I therefore don't really see what the big issue is....

Why would they want the power to take sites down like wikileaks and the like?

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